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A Busy Mom's Checklist For Success

March 6, 2018
By Michele Dobson - Contributing Writer , OVParent

EDITOR's NOTE: You know those moms who seem to always have it all together - their children are clean and happy and dressed in matching outfits, and Mom has an air of serenity about her? Michele Dobson is one of those. So we thought we'd ask her to share her secrets, so we can all ...

Keep Calm and Mother On. - BG

So how do I say organized and sane with four, going on five, kiddos? Here are just a few ways.

Article Photos

The Dobson Family of Wheeling

Clicklist. Thank you, Kroger!

List-making apps. I used to use Our Groceries but now having Alexa and Google Home Mini, I use them to make lists just by speaking. I use lists for much more than just what we need to buy at the store.

Amazon. Amazon, Amazon, Amazon!

"Do it now." I try to take care of things as they come up. Obviously that's not always possible with young children, but at least by the end of day (in the magical time between their bedtime and mine), I try to complete the task. If it's a task that cannot be completed in one day, I try to get a solid start, or make a specific plan to check it off the list.

Growing helpers. Our girls are naturally independent/capable, and we try to nurture that quality. Children enjoy helping at a young age, so I give them age-appropriate tasks and praise them for their efforts. The positive reinforcement goes a long way, and they grow and are able to help in actually helpful ways before long.

My planner. I'm old school. I have an actual paper planner and a pencil (with an eraser, because, life!) and I write everything down. I think that just by writing it, it's somehow more permanent in my mind. I like to see how our different activities interact on paper. Maybe it's nostalgia of my junior high school agendas. Whatever it is, I like it. And it continues to work for us. And besides, they're pretty. Kate Spade and Lilly Pulitzer planners are beautiful!

Screenshots. If I'm looking at an email that has information that I know that I will need to reference, I screenshot it. Or let's say I'm on a website and I find something that I will certainly need later, I screenshot it. Even if I'm texting with someone and agree on a plan or someone messages a gift idea, I take a screenshot. Then I can go to my screenshot folder instead of searching through emails, digging through a website, or scouring a text thread. Plus I can easily share a screenshot.

Last and most importantly is my husband. I have a true partner in Joe. I honestly couldn't do it all without him. He helps with anything and everything and keeps me sane, for sure.

And sometimes, it all fails, and we're a hot mess. In those moments, my best tool is a good sense of humor. You've got to be able to laugh at yourself!

Michele Dobson of Wheeling and her husband, Joe, have four children, Briele, 7; Rosalie, 6; Piper, 4; and Greta, 2. They are expecting their fifth child, nicknamed "Cinco," this summer.



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